Shoe Company: Obama Admin Pressured Us to Stay Quiet on TPP – Weekly Standard
The Boston Globe is reporting that U.S.-based shoe manufacturer New Balance has come out hard against the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. The odd thing, though, is that “the Boston company had gone quiet [on TPP] last year.”
Now, apparently, we know why:
New Balance officials say one big reason is that they were told the Department of Defense would give them serious consideration for a contract to outfit recruits with athletic shoes.
But no order has been placed, and New Balance officials say the Pentagon is intentionally delaying any purchase.
New Balance is reviving its fight against the trade deal, which would, in part, gradually phase out tariffs on shoes made in Vietnam. A loss of those tariffs, the company says, would make imports cheaper and jeopardize its factory jobs in New England.
Matt LeBretton, VP of public affairs for the company, tells the Globe that:
We swallowed the poison pill that is TPP so we could have a chance to bid on these contracts,…We were assured this would be a top-down approach at the Department of Defense if we agreed to either support or remain neutral on TPP. [But] the chances of the Department of Defense buying shoes that are made in the USA are slim to none while Obama is president.
A morally weak company and weaponized Federal government.